It's the part I was born to play baby!

So this morning as I was getting ready, my mom was in the other room watching The Music Man. She remarked that Robert Preston was "the only one who could have played the role," that he successfully portrayed that his character WAS a con-man, but likable enough that the audience roots for him as a character and desires him to change and do the right thing. This lead to a discussion on other characters who never could or should be played by anyone else.

My recent blog post on Ferris Bueller came to mind. I don't think anyone else could have carried off the character and made him as likable as Matthew Broderick did. Marty McFly could only have been played by Michael J. Fox, as evidenced by the Eric Stoltz casting mess. Fox has his own unique charm and comic timing that makes a lot of the movie. Harrison Ford does the same thing in both the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises. What would Darth Vader be without the voice of James Earl Jones? Could any other child actor pull off the pain that was required of the role of Cole Sear in The Sixth Sense. The pairing of Bruce Willis as John McClane and Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber made Die Hard the classic it is....otherwise it would just be another generic action film. Their charisma is what made it work! (I'd also mention Alan Rickman in Harry Potter)

Only a few actresses really stood out to me: The Devil Wears Prada, while not my favorite movie of all time by any means...would be NOTHING without Meryl Streep's performance. Enchanted wouldn't have worked with anyone else but Amy Adams. She wasn't acting like a princess in that movie...she became one. I don't know another actress could have played Nina as Natalie Portman played her in Black Swan.

Classically speaking, we agreed on Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, Jimmy Stewart in It's a Wonderful Life  and Audrey Hepburn's turn in Breakfast at Tiffany's. Each role is central to their respective movie, and each actor pulls off every aspect that is necessary to their character.

Then the next question was about roles played by several actors and who played it best. Elizabeth Bennet, Jo March, Sherlock Holmes, Mr. Darcy, Superman, Lois Lane, Batman, the Joker....everyone's got their opinions on who played best, and conversely what actors have been miscast! For me, one of the worst is Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane in Superman Returns. One of the best was one I thought was miscast when I heard the casting...Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight. It's funny how some casting choices can make or break a movie huh?

What do you think are some of the best and worst casting choices of all time?


Laurie & Clint said...

Who is Michael Broderick?

Sean Mackay said...

I don't know, Laurie, but he must have been good.

Sean Mackay said...

I do think George Clooney was especially good as Batman though.

Emily said...

Wow. I am sure sleep deprived. Thanks for catching that. Edited.

Joey said...

There is always an ongoing debate about Pride & Prejudice characters. It's a hard one.

I mentioned Yul Brynner in The King & I. I wonder if playing these parts on Broadway makes them sink deeper into the actor's souls; but I don't think so. I just think some of them fit a specific part so well that no one else can do it justice.

I mentioned to Emily that I had seen Michael..er..Matthew Broderick in a version of The Music Man and he just seemed flat. Funny because the characters seem so similar; but they are not. HH con comes from cynicism and a sadness that he never reached his dreams. His line "I always believe there's a band" said sadly to Winthrop is telling. FB is really just out to have a good time and his con is a means to an end.

Joey said...

Oh, and Amy Adams is amazing in that part. But anybody could have played Patrick Dempsey's role. James Marsden did a pretty fair job, too.

Sarah said...

Speaking of Superman, in my opinion, no one but Superman could have played the role at that time (can you believe they considered Nick Nolte, James Caan, and Robert Redford for that part, among others). I also think that while others may play that part well, no one will play it as well as Christopher Reeve. He really IS Superman. Though, it's a pity that the 3rd and 4th movie were ever made! It will be interesting to see how they tackle the story and character of Superman in Man of Steel. But I still don't think it will be as good as what Christopher Reeve created.

I am also of the opinion that no one but Tom Hanks could have made me feel sad about the loss of a volleyball as he did in Cast Away.

Also, why in the world are they remaking Spiderman so soon? Especially when it was so successful and so well done less than a decade ago? I think Toby Maguire did a good job in the role.

And why do they keep trying with The Hulk? Is someone out there in Hollywood just so in love with that super hero that they can't let it go? And why is he a super hero when he's basically just a jerk who can't control his anger?

Unknown said...

I always felt all of the Batmans were miscast, Adam West excluded. Michael Keaton, nope, Val Kilmer, I'm a fan of his, but not as Batman. And just no for George Clooney. It wasn't until Christian Bale that I felt they finally got it right. Too bad about Heath Ledger, I would have loved to see those two play off each other for many more years to come.